For US and allies, prepping for AI warfare starts with the data – by Andrew Eversden for C4ISRNET

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Here are some extracts from a recent article on the C4ISRNET website written by Andrew Eversden for C4ISRNET and is entitled: For US and allies, prepping for AI warfare starts with the data. It explains that Pentagon's leading artificial intelligence office have started roundtable discussions with international allies on artificial intelligence challenges.


The end goal is for the allied nations to be ready to cooperate easily on AI-driven projects in the future. But first, the U.S. and partner countries must start at a basic level of readying data for artificial intelligence, viewing the information as a war-fighting resource. That starts with keeping and storing all of the facts and figures that AI needs to work.


The U.S. and its allies “messed up in … not using data or looking at data over the last several decades as a resource,” said Stephanie Culberson, head of international AI policy at the JAIC. “For instance, if we were to go to war again in Afghanistan, would we have all the data that we pulled in the last 20 years? You can probably guess the answer to that.”


Thus far, the partnership includes defense representatives from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The group has twice gathered to identify common challenges, and meetings are expected three times a year.


The Partnership for Defense is not working on codevelopment of AI systems, rather it’s focused on preparing allied militaries to be “AI-ready,” as Culberson puts it.

“We decided to talk about building blocks that we all need to work through that are massive undertakings for ministries of defense,” Culberson said. “For instance, how are we handing data? For the most part, not very well.”


The meetings are different than typical international conversations with foreign militaries, which can be rigid, Culberson said. The partnership meetings encourage open dialogue, including roundtable discussions and TED Talk-style presentations describing how ministries tackle challenges and analysis of case studies for lessons learned.


In the next two years of the partnership, Culberson said that she “really wants to have a solid foundation” for AI-readiness, developing a way to assess whether members have achieved that readiness. In a few years, she said, the countries could consider codeveloping a data aggregation capability.


“This is how we do interoperability as well,” Culberson said. “We don’t want to get too far down the path of everyone’s doing their own thing … in their siloes, and then we look up and next time we need to go to war together, or even humanitarian assistance or any of those types of things where we might use our militaries together, nothing is interoperable.”


Andrew Eversden is a federal IT and cybersecurity reporter for the Federal Times and Fifth Domain. He previously worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune and Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.


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